Transgender model Munroe Bergdorf has spoken out about the horrific rape she endured at the hands of a stalker, describing it as the “lowest moment” of her life.
As reported by the New York Post, the 35-year-old appeared on British chat show Loose Women on Wednesday, where she talked candidly about the incident, which occurred at the beginning of her transition about a decade ago.
“I was locked in a room for two hours and raped,” Bergdorf said.
“I was stalked for six hours before. I met him on a night out and he found where I lived and where I worked and raped me very badly.”
She told the Loose Women panellists the assault “sent me on a really dark trajectory”.
“There was no help, and socially and culturally things have gotten worse and we are being painted as the people you should be looking out for when really we are all being affected with misogyny and violence against women,” she said.
Bergdorf, an activist for the trans community, said she believed the rape occurred because men had been taught to “demonise” transgender women by society at large.
“I had this encounter because society demonises our bodies so much to the point where men who find us attractive are being fed that it is so wrong that they do it in secret and often enact sexual violence on us,” she said.
The British star didn’t disclose whether she reported the man to the police or whether he was ever charged in relation to the assault.
According to the UCLA School of Law, trans people are over four times more likely than their cisgender counterparts to experience “violent victimisation, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault”.
The Human Rights Commission (HRC) reports that at least 34 transgender and gender nonconforming people were killed in the US in 2022 alone, in what they described as an “epidemic of violence”.
“Black and brown trans people face significantly higher rates of harassment, bias and physical violence,” HRC’s Jay Brown stated.
“In 2022, we saw anti-transgender politicians passing a record number of discriminatory bills, including bans of lifesaving, medically necessary gender-affirming health care. These attacks fuel more stigma against transgender and non-binary people, especially aimed at the youngest among us.”
Bergdorf’s Loose Women interview comes ahead of the release of her autobiography Transitional later this month.
In a separate sit-down with The Guardian last week, the model also spoke about the rape, saying it crushed her self-esteem.
“When you look at someone and you know they want to kill you, and they don’t see you as human enough to respect you when you say, no, you don’t want to have sex with them, and [they] rape you anyway, that just kills a part of you,” she told the publication.
“I don’t know how I can unsee that. I still struggle to think of that period because I lost all hope. After that, I started hating myself a lot and entered abusive relationships because I didn’t think I deserved any more [than that].”
Bergdorf was born in Essex, England, and attended an all-boys school, where she described herself as “very effeminate”.
She began her transition at the age of 24 and soon became an in-demand model.
She made headlines in August 2017, when she was hired as the first trans model to front a campaign for L’Oreal UK.
However, she was soon fired after old comments she wrote on Facebook – where she said all white people were guilty of “racial violence” – resurfaced.
Bergdorf’s career survived the controversy, with the star later rejoining the brand, sitting on its UK diversity and inclusion advisory board.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission
Story Credit: news.com.au